Friedrichshafen / Beijing, May 19, 2008 – Emergency response operations following the recent earthquake in the province of Sichuan, China, are now being supported through the rapid provision of high-quality radar and optical satellite imagery as well as detailed evaluations of this data by Infoterra GmbH and Spot Image SA.
In a joint effort, the two companies have provided Chinese government agencies and rescue organizations with satellite imagery, interpretation support, maps, and rapid evaluations depicting the conditions of urban areas, infrastructure, and landscapes. Infoterra and Spot Image had tasked their respective satellites, the German radar satellite TerraSAR-X and the French optical satellite SPOT 5, to acquire data of the affected areas. (View data available for download)
Within seven hours after reception at the ground station, the first processed TerraSAR-X imagery was delivered to the users. At the same time, Infoterra and Spot Image experts in Europe and Beijing began evaluating and interpreting the data sets – enabling a delivery of detailed maps the following day.
Chinese government agencies and rescue organizations such as State Bureau of Surveying and Mapping (CASM), the Ministry of Land and Resource, the State Earthquake Administration and the State Council of China received the information instantaneously, and are now applying it in their emergency response operations.
All results have immediately been made available online, ensuring accessibility for national and international, governmental and non-governmental organizations worldwide.
Imagery and maps are used for the recognition and assessment of damages, identification of focus areas, resource scheduling and route planning, or an efficient setup of coordination centers and camps. Further TerraSAR-X and SPOT 5 acquisitions have been scheduled for the next day and weeks. This will enable detailed monitoring of progress, changes, and possible further effects of the catastrophe, offering continuous support of the medium-term emergency response activities.
All of Infoterra’s and Beijing Spot Image’s activities and efforts are part of the EADS Group’s contributions to emergency relief in China: The data and evaluations could thus be made available free of charge.